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Una mujer pone en remojo sus manos para cuidar la cutícula uña

How to care for the cuticle: stronger nails all year round

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Cuticles are essential to nail health, but they often don’t get the attention they deserve. However, proper cuticle care can greatly affect your nails’ strength and overall appearance. Here’s a complete guide on how to care for your cuticles for healthier, more beautiful hands every time.

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What is the cuticle, and what is its function?

The nail cuticle, also known as the eponychium, is a thin layer of skin at the base of the nail, where it meets the finger’s skin. Its primary function is to act as a protective barrier to prevent bacteria, fungi or other microorganisms from entering the area under the nail, which could cause infections.

In addition to protecting the nail and surrounding skin, the cuticle also helps maintain moisture in the nail bed, thus contributing to the health and flexibility of the nail. The cuticle forms a natural barrier that helps prevent excessive moisture loss from the nail and surrounding skin.

Although the cuticle protects the nails and surrounding skin, it can sometimes become excessively thick or develop minor irregularities. In these cases, it is common for people to choose to gently trim or push back the cuticle to maintain a neater, cleaner appearance. However, it is essential to avoid injury or infection when handling the cuticle.

A woman gives herself a manicure by pushing the cuticle of her nail with a wooden stick.

How do you care for nail cuticles?

Is it reasonable to remove cuticles?

As mentioned above, the cuticle is a natural barrier that protects the nail bed against infection and excessive moisture loss. Obliterating the cuticle can expose the area to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. In addition, aggressively cutting or pushing back the cuticle can damage the skin around the nails, increasing the risk of infection, inflammation, and even permanent damage to the nail bed.

Instead of obliterating the cuticle, safer practices can be followed to keep the nails and their contours clean and healthy. These include soaking hands in warm water to soften the cuticle and gently pushing it back with an orange stick or a tool designed for this purpose. It is also possible to use moisturising creams or oils to keep the cuticle soft and supple.

However, suppose you do decide to remove your cuticles. In that case, it is essential to do so safely and preferably by a trained professional to perform this task correctly and minimise the risk of injury.

How to remove them without problems

If you decide to remove your cuticles, here are some steps you can take to do it safely:

  1. Soak your hands: Before you start, soak your hands in warm water for a few minutes. This will help soften the cuticle and make it easier to remove.
  2. Apply a softening product: Use a cuticle softening product, such as an oil or cream specifically designed for this purpose. Apply the product to the cuticles and let it act according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Gently push back cuticles: Use an orange stick or cuticle pusher to push back cuticles gently. Do this with gentle and delicate movements to avoid damaging the skin.
  4. Trim carefully: To remove loose skin or protruding cuticles, use blunt-tipped manicure scissors. Cut only as much as necessary, and avoid cutting too close to the base of the nail to prevent injury.
  5. Moisturise afterwards: After removing cuticles, moisturise your hands and nails with a moisturising cream or oil. This will help keep the skin soft and supple and prevent dryness.

Remember to be gentle and patient when removing cuticles to avoid injury. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself or have concerns about the health of your nails and cuticles, consider visiting a professional manicurist who can perform the procedure safely and expertly.

Cuticle protection and hygiene

In addition to removal, an issue we think about less often but equally important is the protection of our cuticles. Some simple actions we can take to protect and maintain the hygiene of cuticles are:

  1. Moisturise your hands regularly: Use moisturising creams or oils to keep your hands and nails hydrated. This will help keep the cuticle soft and supple, reducing the likelihood of it becoming dry and cracking.
  2. Do not bite or pluck cuticles: Avoid biting or plucking cuticles, as this can cause injury and even infection. Instead, gently push back cuticles with an orange stick or cuticle pusher after softening them with warm water.
  3. Avoid over-manicuring: Do not remove cuticles excessively or cut them too close to the base of the nail. This can damage the skin and increase the risk of infection.
  4. Protect yourself against chemicals: When handling harsh chemicals, such as detergents or cleaners, wear protective gloves to avoid direct contact with skin and nails, which could irritate or dry cuticles.
  5. Clean your hands properly: Wash them regularly with soap and water to keep them clean and prevent the build-up of dirt and bacteria around your nails and cuticles. Dry them thoroughly after washing to avoid the growth of fungus or other infections.
  6. Maintain a healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for the overall health of your skin, nails and cuticles. Ensure you consume enough nutrients such as biotin, vitamin E and omega-3, which can help strengthen nails and maintain healthy skin.
Close-up of a person applying moisturising oil to the nail cuticle

Hydration, the best aid

Keeping nail cuticles moisturised for several reasons, including skin flexibility and health, preventing infection, and promoting nail growth.

You can regularly use creams or oils designed explicitly for cuticles to moisturise cuticles. Applying these products after washing your hands or before bed can help moisturise cuticles and prevent dryness. In addition, drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can also contribute to healthy nails and cuticles from the inside out.

Caring for cuticles, the secret to beautiful hands

Proper cuticle care is essential to maintain strong, healthy nails all year round. Follow these tips to moisturise your cuticles, protect your hands, maintain a healthy diet and avoid harmful habits. With a bit of attention and regular care, your cuticles will be in optimal condition, reflected in the strength and beauty of your nails.

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